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Cardiff Model tackles South African Gender Based Violence

14 December 2021

A model which uses emergency health data to pinpoint and prevent violence will be used to combat gender-based incidents in the South African capital.

The Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention fills gaps in police knowledge by gathering anonymous information in hospitals from people injured in violence and brings agencies together to act on these unique, combined data.

“The decision to implement the model in the capital, Pretoria, is the first time the system has been used to tackle gender-based violence (GBV) specifically” said surgeon Professor Jonathan Shepherd, from Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group (VRG), who pioneered the model.

The Joe Slovo Foundation and the South African Local Government Association are joining forces to implement the model throughout South Africa, commencing in Tshwane, a metropolitan area home to three million people.

Martin Dolny, Executive Director of the Foundation, who visited Cardiff in 2019, said: “The South African Local Government Association and Joe Slovo Foundation are collaborating with others to gather and provide more accurate data on GBV for local communities to know where and when to take preventive measures and to monitor success – 365 days of the year.”

Analysis shows that only 20% of GBV cases, and less than half of all violent incidents, are reported to police, said Mr Dolny.

“This means local authorities lack sufficient understanding of where and when GBV occurs, limiting their ability to develop successful interventions.

“We will be working in conjunction with South African Mobile Application developers to facilitate the continuous collection of anonymised data at the victim / bystander/ clinic / school / hospital / healthcare worker level and combining and ‘heat-mapping’ this information as used in the globally successful Cardiff Violence Prevention Model.”

The Cardiff Model is based on specific, anonymised data collected in health facilities. This includes information about precise violence location including "own home" and "someone else's home" and information about the relationship between the injured person and their assailant(s) - stranger, acquaintance, partner etc.

Professor Shepherd added: “The Cardiff Model has already been implemented in part in Cape Town but this new application in Pretoria will be invaluable. GBV is violence against someone because of gender-norms and unequal power relationships. Perpetrators are predominantly men - victims predominantly women. Armed with Cardiff Model data, South African Local Government and Communities can initiate practical actions which reduce the chances of repeat victimisation.”

Established in 2011, the Joe Slovo Foundation is the power behind White Ribbon South Africa – ending Violence and Abuse against Women and Girls (VAWG).

Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group is dedicated to understanding the causes of violence and producing real-world applications to prevent it. Part of Cardiff’s Crime and Security Research Institute, VRG has generated practical solutions to violence at local, national and global levels.

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